What is freemasonry?
Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest and largest fraternal and charitable organisation, boasting over 6 Million members worldwide. In England it is governed by the United Grand Lodge of England, established in 1717 in London.
Freemasonry can be a very personal thing, being non-political and non-religious, it encourage each member to enjoy and peruse their own beliefs. Meeting in a Lodge a series of ceremonies and rituals are acted out, all learned by heart and teaching the principles that Freemasonry is founded on, namely Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.
The principles of which teach us to treat all as equals, it teaches tolerance and friendship. It encourages Morality, Charity and Integrity. Fairness, Friendship, and Kindness.
It is a very sociable and charitable organisation, indeed the Freemasons Grand Charity has, since 1980 made over £100 Million in grants. Every lodge raises money for charity from collections to events with many social events held to raise money for a variety charities, from a golf day to a local fete and anything in between. You will meet a wide range of people and make friends with a lot of likeminded people. After the ceremony there is a dinner with wine and quite often a raffle, Always a good evening.
We also hold events called a Ladies Night where your spouse or partner is encouraged to come along, meet other members and enjoy an evening of good food, entertainment and really great company!
We are encouraged to be open about our Masonry, gone are the days of secrecy and mystery. The UGLE is open every day to visitors and you can book guided tours of the halls and building which can be highly recommended.
How do I join?
Freemasonry is open to men of all walks of life and back grounds, whatever race or religion. To join Freemasonry you must be at least 21 years of age (18 in a University Lodge) be in good standing and believe in a Supreme Being by whichever name it is known to you.
You can either be recommended (proposed) by another member or apply to join. There is a process for joining, as in any private members group. It consists of an application form being supported by a Mason and seconded by another. There is usually an interview to get to know the candidate before joining. After this a date is set for the initiation ceremony where the candidate is then initiated into the Lodge and into Freemasonry.
You are encouraged to discuss joining with your partner or spouse as well as family. Attending lodge will take up some of your time, most Lodges meet 5 - 8 (or more) times a year, with meetings and practices sessions (class of instruction) in between, There is the financial aspect to consider with the initial (one off) joining fee, a yearly subscription as well as dining fees, should you wish to dine after the meeting at the festive Board.
For further information the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) had make available an excellent concise 9 page publication in PDF format to download, it is available from the red link below.
"As the strength of a chain is determined not by the number of its links but by the quality of each link, even so a Lodge in its practical service to its members and to society is measured not by the number of men who constitute it, but by the quality of each.”